Social Skills

10. September 2015 09:37 by Steve Leigh in Business News  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments

With more than half of American adults using social media on a daily basis, it goes without saying that the process of using it should be made as simple as possible. We’ve mentioned before that ease of use and design appeal can make or break a site. Web designers continue to experiment with minor tweaks while sticking to their winning formulas. The Web’s most-trafficked sites continue to evolve their logos, their interactive capabilities, and even their basic functions.

Success by Design

We recently saw that Facebook went through its first major logo change. While this may be a new thing for the world’s largest social network, Facebook's sleek new design is right in line with the simplified designs of its Silicon Valley colleague companies.

Spotify design
Image via Wired.

A typical rebranding will minimize or eliminate the text while emphasizing the actual function of the service. As shown by the Spotify logo above, the company’s name was removed in favor of an illustrated transmission signal. It also switched to a brighter shade of green and removed the dark borders along the text. Spotify currently being the No. 3 streaming music service, it’s hard to say how much of their success was due to their logo. Still, it doesn’t seem to have hurt.

All Thumbs

For more than a decade, Facebook has changed the way we think of invitations, family photos, and even the word “poke." Possibly the most recognizable and oft-used part of Facebook’s service is the ubiquitous Like button, a one-click option that allows you to show your approval of a friend’s posting with an illustrated “thumbs up." The message it sends is clear, and for years users have campaigned for the icon’s antithesis. Finally, the icon is getting a diametrically opposed counterpart.

thumbs-down logo
Image via Wired.

Facebook's CEO and co-founder generally neither confirms nor denies the eventual presence of a Dislike icon, despite acknowledging frequent user requests for it. At a recent Q&A session, however, he didn't beat around the bush. “People have asked about the Dislike button for many years,” he said. “We’ve finally heard you and we’re working on this and we will deliver something that meets the needs of the larger community.”

It remains to be seen how this oft-requested function will actually work in practice. Knowing Facebook users, it won’t take long for them to Like or Dislike the idea.

One-Click Consumers

For decades, science fiction authors and technical visionaries looked toward a future where shopping is done from great distances at the touch of a button. The Digital Age has made online shopping easier than ever, but it’s only recently that the idea of one-button buying has become a reality.

point and click
Image via Wired.

A recent article for "Wired" highlighted the rise of the Buy button, starting with the proliferation of the personal computer in the late '90s. From Amazon’s filing for a one-button patent in 1997 to Facebook’s purchase programming, the simplification of online shopping cannot be underestimated.

Looking Ahead

With such bold strides in design, function, and interactivity, it’s hard to see where else these companies can go to improve their users' experience. But, then, the defining attribute of innovation is creating something people didn’t know they needed. 

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